Bear Mauls Tourists in Banff National Park

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Banff, Alberta

Don't hug this bear. Look for the friendly one in Banff.

Don't hug this bear. Look for the friendly one in Banff.

I recently saw the headline attached to this story, “Bear Mauls Tourists in Banff National Park,” as the name of a YouTube video one of my chorts here sent me on the emails. Now, we here in the Canadian Rockies don’t take the subject of bear maulings lightly, because, although rare, they do happen.

So it took me a while before I went ahead and watched that video. I’ll admit, this is partly because I’d never been to YouTube, quite frankly wasn’t sure what it was, and didn’t understand how to make the video play. Anyway, when I finally figured it out, I was prepared to be horrified by what I saw.

And I was. But not in the way I expected. The video actually shows a man dressed up in a bear suit, running around Banff and hugging tourists while singing “Tourists are so squishy, they’re like a cinnamon bun…”

Now, I was, and still am horrified, because I haven’t been able to get this crazy song out of my head since. But I also have to say I like the video overall.

It seems to me that as Banff has grown up, people have gotten the notion that it isn’t a real town anymore. Like it’s some sort of unfriendly, snooty place. I’ve even heard it compared to some ski town in Colorado, whose name escapes me at the moment.

This video is a good reminder that there are still all sorts of fun, silly people running around Banff, sometimes dressed as bears and giving out free hugs, other times as mountain men giving out free advice.

Since watching it, I’ve been passing the video out to all my buddies around Banff and the Canadian Rockies, hoping to start a trend. I think we should all take a little time out to dress up as bears, or ducks, or moose, elk, whatever, and pass out free hugs to tourists.

If you need more incentive, other than making people happy, watch the video. Apparently tourists sometimes give out free treats in exchange for hugs.

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